10 April 2015

TNAMecca Exclusive: Q&A with Drew Galloway

Tomorrow night on a special episode of Impact, in which TNA in collaboration with Destination America will air fans' tweets live during the show, Drew Galloway and the Rising will battle the Beat Down Clan in a six-man fight. A feud fueled by the genuine hatred of its combatants and highlighted by the blood that's been spilt, tomorrow night's clash promises to continue this trend. I'm happy to report that Drew Galloway, just a day before his war against the BDC, took the time to answer some questions exclusively for TNAMecca. Below is our exchange:

Drew, firstly, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to answer some of our questions and secondly, I think I speak for many fans when I say, I'm glad to see you in TNA. Many of our readers were hoping that you'd sign with the company so it's good to have you. Let's begin with your thoughts on TNA prior to signing with them. What was your perception of TNA, let's say, a year ago? And has that perception changed now that you've been with the company for a couple of months?

"Thank you. I appreciate the compliment and I'm more than happy to answer your questions. Big fan, you guys put a lot of work in.

I am a fan of professional wrestling, good professional wrestling and wrestlers. I followed every company pretty much from the very top to the smallest independents and certainly had my faves in TNA that I enjoyed watching. Now I have the opportunity to work with them, it's incredible. The only way my perception has changed is that I'm on the inside seeing how driven everyone is from the guys and girls in the back making everything happen, the bosses, the wrestlers, all way to the network who is 100% driven to take TNA to the next level. It's extremely motivating to be surrounded by that kind of passion." 

Tell us about the process that led to you signing with TNA. What was it about TNA that appealed to you and ultimately convinced you to sign a contract? 

"I was in Scotland wrestling for ICW, where I'm currently the champion, on a Sunday. On Monday, I started receiving calls from a Tennessee number I didn't know, so I ignored it, until Tommy Dreamer texted me, informing me that TNA were looking to talk with me. To be honest, I had no goal of getting back on US TV so quickly but after talking with the bosses and hearing their vision for me and the company, I quickly changed my mind. I have the opportunity to be part of something and help it grow with the show moving to Destination America, also with TNA I can keep my independent commitments and most important I get to be Drew Galloway 100% inside the ring and out. I signed the contract only hours before appearing on TV." 

Soon after you arrived, you asked TNA President Dixie Carter to allow you to take over the company's social media accounts for an entire weekend in order to spread your message for wrestling fans to #StandUp, and your request was granted. Tell us a little about this movement. How did it come about? And how much input did you have in terms of its implementation?

"I'm the craziest fan that grew up obsessed and took it so far that it became the only job I've had in my life. I was granted a microphone, an idea and freedom to speak my mind. All I said was how I feel as a fan and the fans were so responsive because they feel the same. We simply want wrestling and if we like someone because they entertain us in the ring then we would like to see more of them. In the end, it's the fans that pay and allow me to live my dream and dictate television ratings. It's really simple when you think about it but sometimes you gotta speak up or nothing will change. We have some very creative writers and social media workers and I work directly with them and I love it. The more hands on I can be the happier I am and the #StandUp movement really turned some heads. I have to thank Dixie once again for that platform because we really made people say, wait, what's going on over here?" 

I'd say that fans were genuinely excited to #StandUp with you. Do you feel the movement has had a tangible effect on wrestling fans? Have they truly bought into your message?

"It's not a case of buying into my message it's a case of me talking as a fan and fans agreeing with me because they're passionate about wrestling. My attitude isn't sunshine/lollipops, let's do this, guys. It's if you're with us, awesome and if not, we do not care. We are many, we are no longer the silent majority and we will have our voices heard. I'm not trying to be a leader, walk with me side by side and let's make a change. Sounds gimmicky but I really mean everything that I say." 

Judging by the responses you received on Twitter and Facebook, I'd say that most fans seemed to want more wrestling on Impact, less talking, and more X Division. Am I way off base or did you get different results? 

"You are just about right on the money. We have the feedback and keep it coming because plans are being implemented to make things happen. I didn't grow up saying I want to be a professional talker. I loved watching professional wrestling. I wanted to be a professional wrestler, it's that simple. Talking is necessary at times to connect with fans and express yourselves but it should not come close to dominating a show. Fans want action and we are going to give it to them."

Let's talk about your feud with the Beat Down Clan. It seems your objective, when you first came in, was to disrupt the plans of the BDC. Were they your targets or is this part of a bigger plan? In other words, what is your endgame?

"They are what I'm referring to when I say forcing ideals down fans' throats. Every show doesn't have a clean finish with them, they're all over the show and thinking they can tell us who to like and dislike. This is phase one, I've had an endgame since day one in this business at 15 years old. Now at 29, I have the outlet to achieve it and trust me, I will." 

I think I would be remiss if I didn't ask about the pipe shot that every TNA fan was talking about after your debut. That pipe shot on Low Ki almost looked like an accident on TV, but it seems to have triggered a super-heated rivalry between you two. I'm curious, what was Low Ki's reaction towards you backstage afterwards?

"It was a blood feud the second I stepped into the building. Things happen in wrestling, intentional & unintentional, and sometimes they enhance everything. Let's just say it's good for business, because there is legit heat between us and when we get in the ring you are going to feel it at home. Probably put the kids to bed as it will be a war and it is real." 

I speculated in my column a few weeks ago that you'd perhaps try to bring in some back up to help you take out the BDC. Last week, we witnessed as Shaun Ricker and Tevita Fifita came out of the crowd to back you up and the Rising was essentially born. Before we continue, could you share with us their TNA names?

"Micah [Fifita] and Eli Drake [Ricker]." 

Are the Rising simply a short term venture in order to eradicate the BDC or will the Rising represent your mission to accomplish your overall goal? If the latter, can we expect more wrestlers to join you? 

"I can't give away too much but The Rising isn't just three guys who are passionate about the business. The Rising is everyone who believes in pro wrestling and what we're all about. If I could, everyone in the building would be in the ring with me. That's why I love being in the crowd for promos because I am a fan and I love feeling that energy." 

Let's talk about your work in the indies a little and specifically Gabe Sapolsky's promotions. You are currently the EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA champion. How's that experience been for you? Would you like to see a working relationship between TNA and Gabe?

"I've been so lucky with people giving me an opportunity to showcase the real Drew. I currently hold 5 titles on three continents (ICW, Evolve, Dragon Gate, Danish and Australian). I'm currently the busiest wrestler in the world and couldn't be happier. 

Along with ICW and many others, Gabe and Sal helped me massively once I was gone from WWE. They gave me a shot and in my first match I won the Evolve title. A company with some of the best wrestlers with the most unique styles in the world, it really created a buzz for me and showed everyone what I'm capable of in the ring. I'm a 6'5, 250lbs long haired Scottish guy, an ideal candidate for a professional wrestler but I worked my ass off to excel between those ropes not just look the part and they believed in me. Winning the Evolve vs. Dragon Gate title match against Johnny Gargano in San Jose was one of the greatest moments and matches of my life and really felt like I really have cemented myself as one of 'the guys' currently on the scene. Once I made my deal, an agreement was made to bring in a couple of other guys from TNA to Evolve and a working agreement is very likely. If I had or can have any part in wrestling growing then I have truly succeeded. All I want is wrestling to grow while living my dream and if I can help then that's beyond my dreams." 

Before I let you go, could you share with us, how happy are you right now with your wrestling career in comparison to where you were during your time in the WWE? As far as TNA, how have they been treating you? 

"I will never say anything negative about WWE. How can I? I was with them 8 years, since I was 21, grew up there living my dream. Was FCW developmental tag champion (with Wade Barrett) twice, heavyweight champion, WWE tag team champion, Intercontinental champion, Vince McMahon's Chosen One, multiple Wrestlemania's, made great friends and I'm still under 30. That is unreal. I thank my stars I was there and truly grew into a man. From a boy who left university as a student straight to WWE. Those experiences, those ups and downs in life and work shaped the wrestler and man I am today. 

Right now, I am so happy with TNA. As I've mentioned, the guys and gals have such unique ideas and big goals. I'm the most obsessive passionate fan in the world and it can sometimes be taken as an attitude issue, but they channel my passion and creativity in the right direction and that's whatever you see on screen." 

Drew, thank you once again for doing this. It's been fun. I know our readers truly appreciate it.

"No, thank you and thank you to all the fans who have followed my crazy past 9 months and gave Drew GALLOWAY a shot and allow me to live my dream."

You can follow Drew Galloway on Twitter at @GallowaySpeaks. Make sure you tweet him, using the hashtag #StandUp, and let him know what you want to see on Impact Wrestling in the future. Also, please make sure to tune in to Impact on Destination America tomorrow night at 9/8c for the much-anticipated six-man tag fight between the Rising and the BDC. Don't forget to tweet as much as you can during the show using the hashtag #DestinationImpact and you might see your tweet air live on Impact. It promises to be a fun night so make sure you set your DVR if you can not tune in.

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